Dr Eric Harshfield

University position

Research Fellow

Dr Eric Harshfield is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Clinical Neurosciences


Heart and Lung Research Institute (HLRI) and Neurology Unit



Home page


Research Theme

Clinical and Veterinary Neuroscience


I am a chronic disease and genetic epidemiologist with an interest in identifying novel causal pathways and new therapeutic targets for reducing risk of chronic diseases. Since 2018 I have been working in the Stroke Research Group in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, and I am currently a Research Fellow funded by the Alzheimer's Society. My current programme of research has two main aims: (1) using metabolomics to enhance prediction of dementia, and (2) investigating the mechanistic pathways underlying dementia to prioritise therapeutic targets.

PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Harshfield+E+OR+Harshfield+EL

ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8767-0928

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=pXmj9RMAAAAJ&hl=en

PublicationsList: http://publicationslist.org/eric.harshfield

Research Focus




Vascular dementia

Genetic epidemiology

Mendelian randomization

Clinical conditions

Alzheimer's disease

Cardiovascular disease

Cerebral small vessel disease

Cerebrovascular disorders

Cognitive impairment


Depressive disorders

Genetic disorders


Vascular dementia


Cross-sectional and cohort studies


Machine learning

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Mendelian randomization


Neuropsychological testing

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Randomised control trials

Recombinant protein expression

Risk prediction



Hugh Markus

Associated News Items



    Cho BPH, Harshfield EL, Al-Thani M, Tozer DJ, Bell S, Markus HS (2022), “Association of vascular risk factors and genetic factors with penetrance of variants causing monogenic stroke” JAMA Neurol 79(12):1303-1311

    Harshfield EL, Markus HS (2022), “Metabolic associations with stroke, dementia, and imaging markers of cerebral small vessel disease: a comprehensive metabolomics study” medRxiv 2022.03.24.22272911

    Harshfield EL, Sands CJ, Tuladhar AM, de Leeuw F-E, Lewis MR, Markus HS (2022), “Metabolomic profiling in small vessel disease identifies multiple associations with disease severity” Brain 145(7):2461-2471

    Pflanz C-P, Tozer DJ, Harshfield EL, Tay J, Farooqi S, Markus HS (2022), “Central obesity is selectively associated with cerebral gray matter atrophy in 15,634 subjects in the UK Biobank” Int J Obesity 46(5):1059-1067


    Cho BPH, Nannoni S, Harshfield EL, Tozer D, Graf S, Bell S, Markus HS (2021), “NOTCH3 variants are common in the general population and associated with stroke and vascular dementia: an analysis of 200,000 participants” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiat 92(7):694-701

    Georgakis MK, Harshfield EL, Malik R, Franceschini N, Langenberg C, Wareham NJ, Markus HS, Dichgans M (2021), “Diabetes mellitus, glycemic traits, and cerebrovascular disease: a Mendelian randomization study” Neurology 96(13):e1732-e1742

    Harshfield EL, Fauman EB, Stacey D, Paul DS, Ziemek D, Ong RMY, Danesh J, Butterworth AS, Rasheed A, Sattar T, ul-Asar Z, Saleem I, Hina Z, Ishtiaq U, Qamar H, Mallick NH, Yaqub Z, Saghir T, Rizvi SNH, Memon A, Ishaq M, Rasheed SZ, Memon F-u-R, Jalal A, Abbas S, Frossard P, Saleheen D, Wood AM, Griffin JL, Koulman A (2021), “Genome-wide analysis of blood lipid metabolites in over 5000 South Asians reveals biological insights at cardiometabolic disease loci” BMC Med 19(1):232

    Harshfield EL, Georgakis MK, Malik R, Dichgans M, Markus HS (2021), “Modifiable lifestyle factors and risk of stroke: a Mendelian randomization analysis” Stroke 52(3):931-936


    Bell S, Gibson JT, Harshfield EL, Markus HS (2020), “Is periodontitis a risk factor for ischaemic stroke, coronary artery disease and subclinical atherosclerosis? A Mendelian randomisation study” Atherosclerosis 313(2020):111-117

    Harshfield EL, Pennells L, Schwartz JE, Willeit P, Kaptoge S, Bell S, Shaffer JA, Bolton T, Spackman S, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Kee F, Amouyel P, Shea SJ, Kuller LH, Kauhanen J, van Zutphen EM, Blazer DG, Krumholz H, Nietert PJ, Kromhout D, Laughlin G, Berkman L, Wallace RB, Simons LA, Dennison EM, Barr ELM, Meyer HE, Wood AM, Danesh J, Di Angelantonio E, Davidson KW, Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (2020), “Association between depressive symptoms and incident cardiovascular diseases” JAMA 324(23):2396-2405

    Harshfield EL, Sims MC, Traylor M, Ouwehand WH, Markus HS (2020), “The role of haematological traits in risk of ischaemic stroke and its subtypes” Brain 143(1):210-221


    Chauhan G, [...], Debette S, Stroke Genetics Network (SiGN), the International Stroke Genetics Consortium (ISGC), METASTROKE, Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC), and the Neurology Working Group of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) Consortium (2019), “Genetic and lifestyle risk factors for MRI-defined brain infarcts in a population-based setting” Neurology 92(5):e486-e503

    Harshfield EL, Koulman A, Ziemek D, Marney L, Fauman EB, Paul DS, Stacey D, Rasheed A, Lee JJ, Shah N, Jabeen S, Imran A, Abbas S, Hina Z, Qamar N, Mallick NH, Yaqoob Z, Saghir T, Rizvi SNH, Memon A, Rasheed SZ, Memon FU, Qureshi IH, Ishaq M, Frossard P, Danesh J, Saleheen D, Butterworth AS, Wood AM, Griffin JL (2019), “An unbiased lipid phenotyping approach to study the genetic determinants of lipids and their association with coronary heart disease risk factors” J Proteome Res 18(6):2397-2410

    Markus HS, Harshfield EL, Compter A, Kuker W, Kappelle LJ, Clifton A, van der Worp HB, Rothwell P, Algra A, on behalf of the Vertebral Stenosis Trialist's Collaboration (2019), “Stenting for symptomatic vertebral artery stenosis: a preplanned pooled individual patient data analysis” Lancet Neurol 18(7):666-673

    Stacey D, Fauman EB, Ziemek D, Sun BB, Harshfield EL, Wood AM, Butterworth AS, Suhre K, Paul DS (2019), “ProGeM: a framework for the prioritisation of candidate causal genes at molecular quantitative trait loci” Nucleic Acids Res 47(1):e3


    van der Laan SW, Harshfield EL, Hemerich D, Stacey D, Wood AM, Asselbergs FW (2018), “From lipid locus to drug target through human genomics” Cardiovasc Res 114(9):1258-1270


    Burgess S, Harshfield E (2016), “Mendelian randomization to assess causal effects of blood lipids on coronary heart disease: lessons from the past and applications to the future” Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 23(2):124-30


    Chowdhury R, Alam DS, Fakir II, Adnan SD, Naheed A, Tasmin I, Monower MM, Hossain F, Hossain FM, Rahman MM, Afrin S, Roy AK, Akter M, Sume SA, Biswas AK, Pennells L, Surendran P, Young RD, Spackman SA, Hasan K, Harshfield E, Sheikh N, Houghton R, Saleheen D, Howson JM, Butterworth AS; Cardiology Research Group, Raqib R, Majumder AA, Danesh J, Di Angelantonio E (2015), “The Bangladesh Risk of Acute Vascular Events (BRAVE) Study: objectives and design” Eur J Epidemiol 30(7):577-87

    Harshfield E, Chowdhury R, Harhay MN, Bergquist H, Harhay MO (2015), “Association of hypertension and hyperglycaemia with socioeconomic contexts in resource-poor settings: the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey” Int J Epidemiol 44(5):1625-36

    Interleukin 1 Genetics Consortium, Freitag DF, Butterworth AS, Willeit P, Howson JM, Burgess S, Kaptoge S, Young R, Ho WK, Wood AM, Sweeting M, Spackman S, Staley JR, Ramond A, Harshfield E, [...], Di Angelantonio E, Chowdhury R, Nordestgaard BG, Saleheen D, Thompson SG, Danesh J (2015), “Cardiometabolic effects of genetic upregulation of the interleukin 1 receptor antagonist: a Mendelian randomisation analysis” Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 3(4):243-53

    White IR, Rapsomaniki E, Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (2015), “Covariate-adjusted measures of discrimination for survival data” Biometrical J 57(4):592:613


    Chowdhury R, Harshfield E, Roy S, Flora MS, Akram KA, Bhuiya A, Ahsan H (2014), “Life, health, and safety of industrial workers in bangladesh: should they be driven by economic rationale or moral imperative?” J Occup Environ Med 56(4):e12-3

    Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, Di Angelantonio E, Gao P, Khan H, Butterworth AS, Wormser D, Kaptoge S, Kondapally Seshasai SR, Thompson A, Sarwar N, Willeit P, Ridker PM, Barr EL, Khaw KT, Psaty BM, Brenner H, Balkau B, Dekker JM, Lawlor DA, Daimon M, Willeit J, Njolstad I, Nissinen A, Brunner EJ, Kuller LH, Price JF, Sundstrom J, Knuiman MW, Feskens EJ, Verschuren WM, Wald N, Bakker SJ, Whincup PH, Ford I, Goldbourt U, Gomez-de-la-Camara A, Gallacher J, Simons LA, Rosengren A, Sutherland SE, Bjorkelund C, Blazer DG, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Onat A, Marin Ibanez A, Casiglia E, Jukema JW, Simpson LM, Giampaoli S, Nordestgaard BG, Selmer R, Wennberg P, Kauhanen J, Salonen JT, Dankner R, Barrett-Connor E, Kavousi M, Gudnason V, Evans D, Wallace RB, Cushman M, D'Agostino RB Sr, Umans JG, Kiyohara Y, Nakagawa H, Sato S, Gillum RF, Folsom AR, van der Schouw YT, Moons KG, Griffin SJ, Sattar N, Wareham NJ, Selvin E, Thompson SG, Danesh J (2014), “Glycated hemoglobin measurement and prediction of cardiovascular disease” JAMA 311(12):1225-1233


    Harshfield E, Lantagne D, Turbes A, Null C (2012), “Evaluating the sustained health impact of household chlorination of drinking water in rural Haiti” Am J Trop Med Hyg 87(5):786-95


    Samie A, Tambani T, Harshfield E, Green E, Ramalivhana JN, Bessong PO (2010), “Antifungal activities of selected Venda medicinal plants against Candida albicans, Candida krusei and Cryptococcus neoformans isolated from South African AIDS patients” Afr J Biotechnol 9(20):2965-2976


    Harshfield E, Jemec A, Makhado O, Ramarumo E (2009), “Water purification in rural South Africa: ethical analysis and reflections on collaborative community engagement projects in engineering” Int J Serv Learn Eng 4(1):1-14